John Nash villa at Llanerchaeron
Set in the heart of the beautiful Aeron Valley, the John Nash villa makes the most of the views access the picturesque landscape. It's exterior simplicity hides a multitude of complex shapes and details as well as a rare example of a complete service courtyard hidden at the back of the house.
John Nash and Llanerchaeron
The histories of this former country estate on the site of a medieval village are unique in celebrating and informing an essential but little known period in the early career of one of our most renowned national Architects.
The family mansion at Llanerchaeron was completed in 1795 to a design by John Nash; an ambitious but not yet fully established Architect. Following bankruptcy in London at the age of 31, John Nash moved to his mother’s home county of Carmarthen to rebuild his reputation designing serval villas for the Welsh gentry.
Shortly after the completion of Llanerchaeron and with the new found confidence of a portfolio of successful works he was able to return to London before going on to conceive the Brighton Pavilion, Regent street in London and Buckingham Palace for George IV. These works collectively provided the background scenery for the period historically identified as 'The Regency’.
Llanerchaeron Mansion is a Palladian style Georgian Villa .The style in which John Nash was taught during seven years as a pupil with the Palladian specialist architect Robert Taylor who had designed the Carmarthen Guildhall in this style during this same period.
At first sight, the house is simplicity itself – a plain two-storey box of stucco and slate. But Nash placed it with great care to make the most of the views across the picturesque landscape. He arranged the principal rooms around a central, top lit stair case hall. The interiors show his mastery of complex shapes and subtle classical detail. Look out especially for the plasterwork friezes: no two are the same, and all are of the highest quality.
The servants area to the rear of the house clearly shows the distinction between the everyday life of the family and their hard working staff. The kitchen has an Edwardian range that is often lit for baking, so remember to look out for homemade welsh cakes!
The service courtyard
This is one of the most fascinating and important areas of Llanerchaeron and it is almost unique having survived in its original form. Planned for maximum efficiency, it tells the unseen tale of the amount of work involved in running a country house. In the service courtyard you'll find the dairy, dairy scullery, cheese press room and store, bake-house, smoke-house, salting room , brew-house and the dry laundry room.
Today you can have a go at some of the tasks that were essential in the daily lives of the Llanerchaeron servants such as washing clothes and beating the rugs.